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Monday, 16 October 2017 19:37

By: Terrie Davis

 

Around here, I am known as the office Grandma, and I have seen many wellness journeys in the 12 years I have been working here. I have been asked to share my own story with you this month. I have so many ideas to share, but what I am most excited about is the wellness journey that I am about to start. As many of you know, we are expanding the clinic. Part of the reason for the expansion is so that we can introduce the 8 Weeks to Wellness program, which I am sure you will be hearing more about this in the coming weeks and months.

Beginning in November, all the staff will be going to go through the 8WW program together. Drs. Ross and Amy want us to experience the program so that we might each improve our own health and so that when patients go through the program, we might be able to understand their journey. I am excited and a little scared to take this first step!

I am not in bad shape for a person my age, but I do have physical restrictions, and I know I have been eating too much. I am looking forward to getting my body and my brain back into a safer place. I want to sleep better. I want to be able to go for nice long walks again. I might even try Yoga! My fear is that I have chronic pain that might make it hard to do some of the exercises. I am excited to do this with the rest of the staff because I know I will have everyone behind me, supporting me, and pushing me.

I am ready to take that first step towards this program that I have heard so much about. I know how much it has helped other people, and I can’t wait to feel better. 

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:38

Health Freedom through Inflammation Reduction

by Barb Mager

I have been described as a type A person. I thrive on action and activity. I was raised with a strong work ethic and a fierce sense of competition. However, at age 23, I was diagnosed with my first ulcer. At the same time, my mother age 50, was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, and my 52-year-old father, a type 2 diabetic, had his first open heart surgery. The doctor’s advice to me was to reduce my stress. Rather than heed his warning, I laughed in his face! In my world stress was not only a way of life; it was something of which to be proud. He went on to explain the serious nature of chronic stress, and how stress probably contributed to my both of my parent’s illnesses. This got my attention and shifted my perception.

This way of thinking was new to me, and I had so much to learn. I began to study Yoga and Tai Chi, I quit smoking and I began to sort through nutritional recommendations. I learned about tempering my reactions to stressful situations, and what living mindfully was all about. All of this new learning was great and began to improve my well-being. However, as I became a wife, and then a mother, and then a college student (in that order), I became more sedentary and even though I still ate pretty good, I relied more on a diet of simple carbohydrates for the quick grab-and-go.

Fast forward to 20 years, and though I was considered moderately healthy, I was diagnosed with something called chronic inflammation. I had just tipped the scales into the “overweight” category and my cholesterol was high. I had a big wheat belly, a sugar addiction, traveling joint pain and torn rotator cuffs on both shoulders. I wasn’t sleeping well, and my energy was sporadic at best. What really scared me was that I was now pre-diabetic.

Those who know me, understand that I am not a big fan of “doctoring” and I am leery of pharmaceuticals. So, I sought out alternative medicine and I found a holistic practitioner who told me he would treat my pain issues with acupuncture and chiropractic care but he said that I should address lifestyle issues if I really wanted to be well. I decided to make changes to reduce inflammation and feel better. It was hard but with his coaching, encouragement and weekly treatments, I changed the way I looked at food. My weekly exercise routine of 3-4 yoga classes kept me strong and limber, but I added three 15-minute cardio sessions to improve my metabolism.

Today, I am still a bit of an over achiever but, my traveling joint pain has gone away, my belly is 20 pounds lighter, and my blood sugar is steady. The cholesterol is still a little high but manageable with supplements. My energy is balanced and I sleep better at night. I did have surgery to repair the bad shoulder, and I really, really hope I never have to do that again. I exercise to keep my body strong and limber, and I am no longer battling chronic inflammation. I have the freedom to live a fuller life, laugh, and have more fun. My well-being has improved and my health is good. Yay!

This is what I learned:

  • Inflammation is a normal, healthy response to injury. In the short term, it helps signal our body to repair the damage.
  • Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system no longer protects the body but rather can attack perceived threats. This leads to excess free radicals, increasing levels of cortisol and oxidative stress that damage tissue.
  • The main causes for chronic inflammation seem to be stress, toxicity from food and environmental pollutants, and a lack of exercise.
  • Eat food, not too much, mostly plants :)...M. Pollan
Published in Blog